All of us would love to dine out once in a while or order a pizza and laze around watching TV. How many of us would want to own the equipment to make a pizza or even learn to make one? Not many, I’d say, none of us would, unless one’s in the restaurant business. Each time we dine out or order for home delivery, what we are doing is utilizing a set of services. A service cannot be perceived appealing to everyone as not every individual likes and wants the same things. It is important that a service is customized to the tune of every individual customer. Simply put, ITIL defines a Service as ‘A means of delivering value to the customer, by facilitating the outcomes the customer wants to achieve, without the ownership if specific costs and risks.’
Let’s understand this with the help of an example: ‘A’ has a flight at 10 and wished to utilize a service called ‘Airport Drop’ provided by ‘ABC cabs.’ Understanding that ‘A’ has to be in the airport by 8, she books the service requesting a pick up at her residence by 7. ABC cabs dispatched a cab with a driver who picked ‘A’ at 7 and dropped her at the airport by 8. Here, the cost of owning the cab, driver and fuel alongside the risks for maintaining them are borne by ‘ABC cabs’, while ‘A’ has just utilized the service in exchange for money. Another important element that needs careful consideration is the fact that, the service provider ‘ABC cabs’ is responsible to provide the means to achieve the outcome, meaning: ensuring that a cab with enough fuel and a driver are available at ‘A’s’ location by 7, while the service provider cannot be accountable for any delay to the airport after that, either due to a traffic delay or ‘A’ getting into the cab late. The service provider can thus, deliver value by ensuring that he forewarns the customers about possible traffic and rescheduling the pick up to 6:30 and calls him up by 6 to give him a heads up that the cab will be available at 6:30.
Value, I believe is a hideous term, it changes from person to person and situation to situation. While on time service could be valued by one, safety could be valued by another. It is important that the service provider’s take time in understanding the value the customer wishes to obtain by utilizing the services.